Sunday, November 14, 2010

An old church in Sirince

 Restoration work has begun on this dilapadated Byzantine church by an organisation in Ohio. The streaks of blue paint indicates that there were frescoes here and the years of neglect and vandalism has taken its toll on this church. Maybe it should have been converted to a mosque and most mosques have their Christian frescoes whitewashed over. At least they can later clean off the whitewash to reveal the frescoes, convert the structure into a musuem since churches are not allowed. This way the precious artwork would have been preserved.

 There are some frescoes left and these are now being kept behind protective glass.

There weren't just us foreign tourists visiting this place, there were locals, muslims too because of their clothing. Even when we were visiting Coptic churches in Cairo, we saw women in burquas visiting the churches. Its not a religious thing, it is about architecture from a different Empire and art from an Empire that is long gone. Its sad to see an Empire gone and more so to see art and architecture from that Empire vanished too. John the Baptist is an important saint in the Orthodox church. In fact, a very important Orthodox icon is the Deesis, a picture of Jesus with Mary on the right and John the Baptist on the left. Orthodox frescoes usually has pictures of the Annunciation, Mary rushing off to tell her cousin, Elizabeth and Elizabeth, herself is pregnant with John the Baptist. By the side in a corner of the frescoes is a very puzzled looking Joseph, thinking to himself, 'how did this happen?'

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